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Jos and Me: Poetry by Omale Allen Abdul-jabbar

Image: Andrew Moore via Flickr
Image: Andrew Moore via Flickr

Jos and Me

(For the beloved city of Jos and all the friends i used to know but can no longer see; Carlos Izzia Ahmad & Dan Tenshak especially.)

Now our love and friendship flee from us
like some terrible terrible fiend
The rites of passage run like quicksilver
but you`re still the enchantress of my dreams
and time like sand in an hourglass
defines our very existence-
every step we take, every move we make

The first time we met was the summer of `93
God! you were as cold as a Russian well digger`s ass
now our dreams and memories drizzle like rainfall
on dark cold nights and queue up
in the dazzling traffic of city lights

Jos o Jos!
The voyage, the stop by Forest to buy bananas and peanuts
Entrance by the ancient hamlet of Riom
The rocky patches and abundance of carrots
Lettuce, cucumbers and Irish potatoes
I remember yea i remember!
Student days in U-Jay
”Mama Tapgun” and Terminus market
British-America and Liberty Boulevard
Yakubu Lamia and ”Coast to Coast” on radio
Poetry reading in Rayfield and the Museum
Toni Kan cruising down the lane on return
From Switzerland to collect his literary prize
And Bilkisu
Yea! Bilkisu of the thundering laughter and lightning flash in her teeth

Benevolent breath of baby angels
Turned ghost town from a plethora of crisis
our love and friendship flee from us now
like some terrible terrible fiend
insanity dissolves your tissues like acid on cotton
But you are still the enchantress of my dreams.

(c) Omale Allen Abdul-jabbar
Image: Andrew Moore via Flickr

Omale Allen Abdul-Jabbar
Omale Allen Abdul-Jabbar
Omale Allen Abdul-Jabbar is a Masters degree holder in Law & Diplomacy (pen name Mmaasa Masai). Ex-Chairman, Association of Nigerian Authors, ANA, Plateau chapter, as well as Ex-PRO and Ex-Officio member of ANA at the National level. He has been awarded twice the Korea/Nigeria Poetry prize and the maiden winner of the PEN/Nigeria Saraba Poetry prize 2011. His maiden poetry collection ''Behold, Your Scented Daughters'' was published in 2012. He writes poetry, fiction, drama, and essays. His work has been published in Hints, Daily Times, Weekly Trust, Fifty Nigerian Poets, Punch, THESE! Magazine online, etc. He was a Finalist on in 2002 for the poem "Love affair" and subsequently published in the anthology "Letters from the soul", The Ker Review, Blackbiro online, ANA Review, amongst others. His work also appeared in the anthology CAMOUFLAGE. He is influenced by the works of Toni Kan Onwordi, Helon Habila, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Ben Okri, Isabel Allende, Margaret Artwood, Pablo Neruda, Maik Nwosu, Toyin-Adewale-Gabriel and David Njoku. Omale lives in Abuja, Nigeria, with his wife and five children.


  1. I couldn’t figure out something in your poem. I hope Dan Tenshak is fine? He is my friend, though we lost contact. Can you please reply and, let me know that Dan is fine? Thank you.

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